PENSIONERS in Khayelitsha queued from Sunday night to be able to access their grant money yesterday. One person said that even though she was at the office at 1.30am, by noon she had still not been helped.     PHANDO JIKELO  African News Agency (ANA)
PENSIONERS in Khayelitsha queued from Sunday night to be able to access their grant money yesterday. One person said that even though she was at the office at 1.30am, by noon she had still not been helped. PHANDO JIKELO African News Agency (ANA)

GEMS medical aid scheme slams Covid-19 fake news that they won't cover people over 60

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published May 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - The country’s second-largest medical scheme, the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), has dismissed as fake news a message circulating on social media claiming it will not cover members over 60 should they contract Covid-19.


GEMS principal officer Dr Stan Moloabi has reassured the scheme’s almost 700 000 members and over 1.8 million beneficiaries that it does not discriminate on the basis of age as this would contravene its rules.


”We assure you as our stakeholders that the scheme shall not implement such discriminatory practices which would be going against everything we stand for,” Moloabi said in a message to stakeholders on Tuesday.


He said GEMS is investigating the source of the fake news and that as previously stated the scheme is required to fund all clinically appropriate care and related costs including Covid-19-related testing as communicated by the regulator, the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS).


The Department of Health has also published regulations classifying Covid-19 as a prescribed minimum benefit, which by law must be covered in full and in line with the scheme’s rules and clinical appropriateness, GEMS promised its members and beneficiaries.

Moloabi said the message was totally wrong and that GEMS has embarked on a campaign to assure its members and beneficiaries that they are covered for Covid-19 should they contract the deadly disease.

The CMS lists GEMS as the second largest of the country’s 80 open and restricted medical schemes.

Meanwhile, the CMS has resolved that it would be prudent for medical schemes to strongly consider hosting virtual annual general meetings (AGMs) this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other medical schemes believe it would be in the best interest not to hold their AGMs and have resolved to postpone the meetings until such time that the impact of the pandemic has been brought under control, according to the CMS.

However, the council has warned that it will only grant exemptions to convene virtual AGMs if they are accessible to all the members, there is a breakdown of costs incidental to hosting the gathering and the system for electronic voting as well as confirmation tha tthe auditing of results is disclosed.

Political Bureau

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